Thursday, November 12, 2009

All Abortion All The Time

The Health Care Bill is no longer about the socialization of medicine. It has now come down to the socialization of abortion. And it seems like a number of women don't like the restrictions added to the bill. And to use a typically misogynist phrase: they are not going to take it lying down.

House Democrats voted to expand the current ban on public financing for abortion and to effectively prohibit women who participate in the proposed health system from obtaining private insurance that covers the full range of reproductive health options. Political calculation aside, the House Democrats reinforced the principle that a minority view on the morality of abortion can determine reproductive health policy for American women.

Many House members who support abortion rights decided reluctantly to accept this ban, which is embodied in the Stupak-Pitts amendment. They say the tradeoff was necessary to advance the right to guaranteed health care. They say they will fight another day for a woman’s right to choose.

Perhaps. But they can’t ignore the underlying shift that has taken place in recent years. The Democratic majority has abandoned its platform and subordinated women’s health to short-term political success. In doing so, these so-called friends of women’s rights have arguably done more to undermine reproductive rights than some of abortion’s staunchest foes. That Senate Democrats are poised to allow similar anti-abortion language in their bill simply underscores the degree of the damage that has been done.
I was making a similar argument (with positions reversed) about Republicans who were more concerned with their NRLC Rating than with stopping the Health care Bill.

But maybe this is a teaching moment: Nationalized Health Care will force choices you may not want or prevent you from making choices you might want. Something I'm rather familiar with given my experience in the Marijuana Is Medicine movement. There are a lot of places that government just does not belong. Medicine is one of them.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

23 comments:

RavingDave said...

On the topic of Abortion, here is an example of why it's wrong for any nation to tolerate it. It will make a nation die.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/UK-abortion-capital-of-Europe-Survey/articleshow/5223566.cms



The Muslims don't do this. They will continue to have children who will grow up with their ideology, and those who favor abortion will be overwhelmed and subjugated. Eventually the native UKers will convert or die. They will deserve it. Idiots.

M. Simon said...

And you think you can stop this by law? In America? The land of the lawbreakers?

Why aren't the Euros reproducing? Lack of hope? Socialism does that.

The problem is not abortion. That is a symptom. The problem is socialism.

RavingDave said...

Law lends a veneer of morality to ideas. Slavery was accepted because it was legal. If the moral aspect was not reinforced by the law, nobody would have bothered with the 13th,14th and 15th Amendments.


Socialism is merely a symptom of a morally corrupt people. The idea that you can take (steal) from the producers and give to the bums is very immoral, but if your people are already okay with immorality, stealing is no big deal.


David

M. Simon said...

BTW The Muslim birth rate is declining. It is already below replacement rate in Iran.

And let me reiterate. Governments do not do morality well. Ever.

They can do a tolerable job on keeping the peace. If they focused on that.

If the abortion war goes the way of the drug war (who could believe otherwise?) you will be paying a lot of money to further the opposite of what you want.

M. Simon said...

And note: it is legal to drink enough alcohol to kill yourself. Is it wise? You be the judge.

But OK. If we are going to make abortion illegal I believe we need to support the families and mothers who are financially hurting. That is the Catholic position. And it is a moral one.

If we wanted to do it on the cheap State run orphanages are a good idea.

RavingDave said...

All laws are legislated morality. Governments do laws just fine. The only issue is who's morality is going to get enforced. If we are going to have enforced morality anyway, we might as well want the kind that is relatively benign.

I favor the stuff (starting with the ten commandments.) that's been tested for millenia and worked so well it drug the world out of the stone age.

M. Simon said...

Well sure legislated morality. That is just dandy.

Until you get 5% or 20% noncompliance. Say like the drug war. Or alcohol prohibition. Then they are just murder.

So explain to me again why drugs have been getting cheaper and more available in the USA despite their illegality?

What you forget is that there needs to be 99%+ voluntary compliance to legislated morality or it doesn't work. Clandestine networks form. Subversives gather. Overthrow of the government is plotted. Then where are you? You have an organized criminal element working against you. An underground network that is working against you.

So yeah. Legislating is no problem. You can legislate pi=4 (even numbers are easier to compute). But can you make it stick at a reasonable price?

M. Simon said...

I know what to do to make it work. The government can hire informers. Just the kind of country we all want.

And RU-486 will be freely available. Birth control pills will become contraband (worsening the situation) since they can be used to induce abortion.

I think you are just another Republican Socialist - you favor price supports for criminals.

RavingDave said...

Do you even read what I write? I should keep my points short. How about this.


Agree or Disagree.


ALL laws are legislated morality.


You'll probably talk about drugs in your response. :)

M. Simon said...

OK. All laws are legislated morality.

Then comes general morality and particular morality.

All societies have laws against murder and theft.

Not all have laws about blasphemy and generally vary as to the object requiring blasphemy protection.

===

So the question is: can you enforce a law well enough so that it does not require a police state and attendant exorbitant expenditures to make it work?

In America that usually requires 99%+ acquiesce if not agreement.

RavingDave said...

I'm glad you agree on this point. That puts the discussion into the same category as that old joke about the woman who won't sleep with someone for a dollar, but would do it for a million bucks. "We've already established what kind of girl you are, now we're just haggling over the price."

We are really just negotiating WHICH morality ought to be enforced by the law, not whether.


In any case, I think the answer to the whole "morality" in law question is answered adequately by Federalism. The Federal Government concerns itself with issues that relate to governing a nation, while the State governments concern themselves with issues relating to governing a state. This way Liberal New York can have it's Liberal morality laws, and conservative Texas can have it's conservative morality laws.

Any cheers for Federalism ?

M. Simon said...

I think I want to take back what I said about morality. Too loaded a term. Too variable.

Let me try again: the purpose of laws is to keep the peace. i.e. prevent (in so far as possible) interpersonal disputes.

So it is not a matter of which morality. It is strictly a utilitarian calculation.

M. Simon said...

And then there are liberty issues.

Might blasphemy laws help keep the peace in certain neighborhoods. Yes. Do such laws conflict with the right to speak your mind. Yes.

So even utility must in some cases give way to rights.

===

So do you have a right to be born? No. That is evident from the fact that about 40% or more of the cases of sperm and egg joining are spontaneously aborted.

Once you are born do you have a right to life. Undoubtedly.

And as you point out abortion is a regional issue. So the determination of right or wrong (morality) is not universally agreed on.

You can make laws. Lots of laws. You can hire police. Lots of police. But can you significantly affect clandestine activity? History says it is a fools errand. Without some one in the transaction to complain you have a lot more trouble tracking down transgressors of the law.

I like Federalism. I also like rights that a given State may not abrogate.

But if the State wants to enforce fatherhood/motherhood it should be willing to pay for the privilege. Of course that leads to all kinds of moral hazard situations.

The Catholic Church has the only sound morality on the subject IMO. No abortion. More welfare.

Not something most Conservatives of my acquaintance would be comfortable with.

RavingDave said...

Calling it something other than morality is just a dodge. We are referring to "Official" right vs. wrong, when we are talking about laws.

MSimon writes: " So it is not a matter of which morality. It is strictly a utilitarian calculation."

Then it just becomes a debate about what constitutes "Utilitarian." Again, we are just haggling over the price.

It is my opinion that there are penalties from violating objective rules of morality, just as there are penalties from violating the rules of economics.

In my opinion morality and economics are merely two sides of the same coin. They are interlocked like the Electro and the Magnetic.

Like the ion and the electron. You can separate them for awhile, but
eventually as one goes, so goes the other.

Bad times make good people, good times make bad people. It is a positive feedback effect that causes those cycles that whatshisname predicted.

M. Simon said...

Not a dodge.

Different point of view.

What is the purpose of Government in the American system?

Enforcing morality or keeping the peace?

Because that is the fundamental question. Not whose morality. But why?

Is it to make people live the "right way" or is it to keep the peace?

If you want liberty - not very fashionable these days - keeping the peace is the only legitimate function of government.

So I'm asking the more fundamental question.

What is the purpose of Government in a Constitutional Republic?

But OK I'll pick a morality based more or less on rational grounds. I want a morality that keeps the peace. A non-sectarian morality.

A morality that non-believers and believers (of various faiths) can live under. That kind of narrows it down some.

M. Simon said...

Getting the price right is VERY important.

And how you frame a question (sales pitch) can change the value equation.

Do you sell a Maserati based on "It will cut three minutes off your commute time" or "people (girls) will look up to you"? The second makes the vehicle worth more.

If you are interested in limited government then keeping the peace is government's only legitimate function. That is my frame.

That limits the scope of enforced morality considerably.

RavingDave said...

MSimon writes:
"What is the purpose of Government in the American system?

Enforcing morality or keeping the peace?"


Yes. They are the same thing.

The ideals of which the constitution is made is legislated morality. The idea that people should keep the peace is morality.

In the old monarchy system, the lords and their children could raise as much hell as they wanted, and peasants would do well to stay out of their way, and God help the ones that decided to interfere.

That was the morality of that governing system. The American founders had different ideas, so they instituted the moral idea that people ought to be treated the same by the legal system, and that there should be no special classes of person. (except the 3/5ths type, but that got changed because of more morality. :) )

It's all morality. Again, it is just a matter of WHICH morality, not if.


David

M. Simon said...

I don't accept your premise.

RavingDave said...

You have too much experience invested in what you believe to consider an alternative. You also can't seem to shake off the subjectivity of our modern zeitgeist.


Morality is simply an artificial racial memory. It purpose is to enables us to avoid mistakes that our ancestors learned about by paying for them in blood.

It's all evolved.

In any case, it doesn't matter what you or I think. If i'm right, the system is self-correcting. (by death, misery, and austerity) If you're right, the system doesn't require any correction, and annoying morality serves no useful purpose.

M. Simon said...

No Dave. You don't understand me. At all.

My frame is that the only legitimate purpose of government is to keep the peace. That is the fundamental rule of limited government.

And I got this way in about 1980 after I figured out the bankruptcy of communism/socialism. Plus I had been studying economics for about 5 years by then.

Once you start talking morality there is no objective way to decide. Whose morality? Christian, Jew, Muslim, Secular?

I cut all that out. I ask: what are the minimum rules required to keep the peace? Why minimum? Well I am one of those naive believers in limited government.

I'm an engineer. I learned long ago that how you frame the question determines the answer. A bad frame can keep you in the weeds for a very long time.

The morality frame puts you in the mind of right and wrong. A question on which there are no universal answers. The "keep the peace" frame puts you in mind of practicality.

With morality you get enforcers. With keeping the peace you get peace keepers. Which kind of police would you rather have?

RavingDave said...

Your response indicates you like things to be "packetized", meaning everything fits into a nice neat little package, and thing either are or are not this package.


It's like the terms Physics and the Term Chemistry. People think of the two as separate categories, but in reality there are no boundaries between them. That is a completely human created illusion.


You seem to like the term "Morality" to be likewise "packetized" and apparently attached to some religion or other.

It is my observation that morality is independent of religion, but religion is utilized as a tool to enforce it because nothing else would be taken seriously enough to compel people to behave when misbehaving is so much fun. (till the blood payment comes due.)

I believe that such a thing as "objective" morality does exist and can be reasoned out just as the laws of economics have.

If the rules of evolution make sense, then the rules of morality are merely an extension of the rules of evolution.

Not killing and not hurting have rather obvious evolutionary benefits, because under the conditions which humans have evolved most of their existence, the genes which would be harmed are very likely closely related to the harmer.

When a body's cells start eating
each other it's called cancer.

Not much difficulty in figuring out the morality of cells in this case.

RavingDave said...

Let me try a different tack. Probably someone else has thought of this too, but I at least thought of it independently.

Economic Pollution.


It is the condition in which idiotic or foolish economic practices by others have the consequence of hurting others financially.


One example was the script of a comedy show in which everyone in the neighborhood was following a get rich quick guru's notion of "No money down" real estate. Everyone in the neighborhood kept buying and selling houses at ever more outrageous prices till the only sensible character in the show is presented with a massive property tax bill as a result of his neighbors idiocy.


Another example was a story I read in National review 18 years ago about Famine's being caused by having too much food.

Apparently the US farm policy resulted in farmers selling excess grain to the Government, which then shipped it to poor countries in Africa, making it impossible for local farmers to grow anything at a profit, and therefore driving them out of buisness.

Now some people might not think of any of this as being wrong, but it cannot be denied that innocent people are getting injured by economic pollution.


Another example. Devaluing the Dollar by printing more of them makes my savings decline in value. Every day it becomes worth less than the amount of work necessary to produce it.

Didn't we fight a war over slavery?




Just some thoughts.

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